A Letter To Lord John Russell, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary Of State For The Home Department, On The Alleged Claim Of The Public To Be Admitted Gratis To The Exhibition Of The Royal Academy. By Sir Martin Archer Shee, President Of The Royal Academy, F.R.S.

Sir Martin Archer Shee PRA

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Printed By W. Clowes And Sons, 14, Charing Cross., 1837.

Physical Description

[2], 31, [1] p. 62 mm. (Octavo.)


[T.p.] - Advertisement - [Text]; [colophon].


S.C. Hutchison, The history of the Royal Academy (1986), esp. p.89.

Summary Note

This letter by the President of the Royal Academy was written shortly after the opening of its new home in Trafalgar Square in April 1837. A Mr. Hume had argued that, now that the institution was housed in a public building, its exhibition should be open free to the public, at least on some days. Shee argues that the Academy 'is not a national establishment. Though rendering important public services, it is not, in any respect, supported or assisted, nor has it ever been supported or assisted, from any public fund' - and therefore incurs no debt or obligation to the public.


The title page of the work with which this is bound is inscribed in ink, 'For the Library of the Royal Academy from the Author'.

Binding Note

19th-century green morocco, upper and lower covers having gilt-stamped borders; spine lettered 'Letters - Sir M.A. Shee' and '1837'. Bound with one other.

Name as Subject


Paintings - Exhibitions - Access - Art galleries - Academies (organizations) - Fees - Finance - Government policy - Art and state - Public institutions - Public services - Great Britain - London - History - 19th century
Essays - Letters - Great Britain - 19th century